Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.
Chapter 15 (The Light and the Music)
Finally! On to the next chapter!
Title: This is a Kaladin chapter, so I’m guessing it’s a reference to the things other people enjoy that he can’t because his life is suffering and depression. Sorry, Kal.
Epigraph: So logicspren can reproduce any Boolean operation, timing gate, or similar mechanism based on the design of the fabrial they are used in. I see computers are on the way, and logic gates are very much a thing. Presumably a single captured logicspren could fully empower a control interface, an automatic stator, or any of a variety of governors.
Wait, what? “In the weeks following…” We’re already getting a timeskip?
Oh, it’s only the 2 weeks he had to make a decision. It’s hard to remember sometimes that Rosharan weeks are only 5 days.
I like that Syl is copying Navani’s airship without knowing what it’s for or even having one built yet. Is it just fun, or does she feel an affinity for it due to the windspren connection to its concept?
Oooo, are we going to talk to Zahel? He is overdue for an appearance, and I had sort of assumed he would have made himself scarce once he knew Azure was looking for him.
Syl’s take on hair is gross. Good thing she doesn’t have any.
“Actually, everything is a fragment of divinities. We’re relatives that way. You humans are merely the weird relatives that live out in the stormshelter; the ones we try not to let visitors know about.”
While this is funny in a “yeah, that’s a Rosharan take on a familiar concept” sort of way, that analogy is a little too specific for my liking. Do people usually keep weird relatives in the stormshelter? We already know that the treatment of those with mental deficiencies is particularly poor among the Alethi. Is it common for embarrassing family members to be hidden away? Or is this actually a comment on how humans would keep their parsh slaves, and saying that they are related in the same way? I’m probably overthinking this, but it bothers me that Syl would say this quite as glibly as she did.
Hah! Zahel is doing laundry. (Does he use awakening to make it go faster, I wonder?)
“Pastures for chulls, lobberbeasts, and horses”
Lobberbeasts?! Tell me more!
Woah. This is very cool. Rlain taught them the rhythm they can drum, which attunes lifespren to help their crops grow. I had assumed it was just the light and humans hadn’t bothered, but Kal’s note that someone would have noticed in the past several thousand years is a good one. The music is that missing ingredient.
I wonder what other rhythms can do to manifest effects in reality. Somehow I forgot that the Everstorm was summoned by singing, not by ritual. It should have been obvious that the drums and voices of the parshendi can have more magical effects, but somehow I didn’t think of it. Hmm. I wonder what rhythm they were beating at the party before Gavilar’s assassination.
That music can work with stormlight as an alternative to crude fabrial effects is fascinating, and makes me really excited for the future Rosharan starships that are powered by disco.
I’m very proud of Rlain’s choice to tell Yunfah he didn’t want a forced bond. I’m really glad Brandon made that narrative choice as well. Helping disadvantaged groups is one thing, but portraying those groups as needing the majority’s charity to succeed rather than being capable of excelling on their own merits is problematic. We can predict that this will be the honor (or possibly the attribute for another order) that will attract the correct spren for Rlain.
I wonder what breechtree is. Is it named for the way it grows (breech into the wind, perhaps?) or is it related to its use--harvested to make breeches? No, obviously not the latter, it’s just a funny name and I don’t remember seeing it previously.
You can’t see the grin on my face, but Zahel with (possibly awakened) laundry vs Kaladin is a fight I am going to love reading.
“You and old Dalinar. Hens from the same nest”
Come on, Zahel. You use an idiom involving chickens and don’t even use the local word for chicken? You know, the only kind of bird that anyone here knows? How long have you even been here?
And yes, the fight was very cool. Kaladin needling him about Vivenna is funny to me. I’d forgotten that they left her in Shadesmar, though. Zahel doesn’t seem to think it will be easy for her to pass through the perpendicularity at the Horneater peaks, which is a little surprising to me. She’s had over a year to try.
It also makes me a little concerned for Rock, but I’ve already made my prediction there. This doesn’t change anything.
Okay, Zahel isn’t bothering to hide his awakening at this point. I wonder what Kaladin is going to conclude about it?
Zahel semi-stealthily reclaiming his Breath from the laundry, and all I can think is “does he not thank them any more?” That was a defining trait for him, and it really says something about what he went through in the yet-to-be-written Warbreaker sequel if he lost his consideration for the constructs he awakens.
Zahel drained a Rosharan scarf of color for his awakening, so I presume that to mean the color doesn’t have to be Nalthis derived, or more specifically Tears-of-Edgli derived. We probably already knew this, but I can’t think of a specific WoB.
This whole conversation about Type Two invested entities (new model) is fascinating and far more direct than I expected Zahel to be. It’s a nice reminder that he was a scholar in his own way. I really like the fossil analogy, and I am super curious about where he got it. Presumably he would have had to travel to a pre-shattering planet, or maybe pick it up in Silverlight I suppose. But he treats it as a more precious possession than just something he collected as a souvenir.
“The longer one of us exists, the more like a spren we become. [...] We’re spren masquerading as men. That’s why she takes our memories. She knows we aren’t the actual people who died, but something else given the corpse to inhabit.”
:-( This is so revealing and so sad. He considers himself a pinocchio who knows he can’t be real any more, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
I really want to get Endowment’s rebuttal or at least her perspective on this. Did Zahel ever get to actually talk to her? I don’t know if we’ll ever find out for sure.